The Human Side of SDM: An Impact Across the Organization
It has become essential to embark on a new phase of collaboration that engages a wider range of stakeholders, beyond just dev and ops teams.
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The goal of DevOps is to bring together two different teams with sometimes divergent missions — development and operations — forming a closer collaboration between them. In transforming into a DevOps culture, enabling stronger collaboration, and creating shared goals between these teams, software delivery is accelerated.
DevOps reduces the friction between the teams, fostering a combined focus on delivering software. A DevOps culture also fosters the automation of all stages of software creation, from development, integration, testing, and delivery to deployment, operation, and infrastructure maintenance and management.
As DevOps matures in companies and as the software is now at the core of many businesses, it has become essential to embark on a new phase of collaboration that engages a wider range of stakeholders, beyond just dev and ops teams. There are broader product and business stakeholders outside of IT that also need to know the status of software delivery.
This closer collaboration and transparency in the software delivery process is made possible by Software Delivery Management (SDM), which is based on common data, universal insights, common connected processes, and collaboration among all stakeholders across the company.
SDM Extends Visibility to the Wider Organization
Engineering leadership relies on two basic cornerstone requirements: the ability to make good decisions and to work effectively with people.
The SDM approach offers end-to-end visibility into the software development and delivery lifecycle from a product and engineering perspective. Foundational to SDM is a system of record on a flexible platform able to ingest data from different sources into a common data model. As such, SDM enables universal insights derived from the shared data, which facilitates decision making. It provides the foundations to put data into action.
It also makes the information easily accessible to individuals and teams across the enterprise and extends visibility to the business side. With SDM, common data and information around software delivery processes take a consolidated form and it’s shared with the project’s various stakeholders, including product management, UX teams, documentation teams, support, product marketers, and more.
SDM Breaks Down the Walls Between Teams
Without SDM, if something breaks when one team is working on a task, the problem might not get noticed until the next weekly stand-up, with all the involved stakeholders. With SDM, enterprises have instant visibility when things break, so issues can be addressed immediately and work can continue. It’s all about collaboration and continuous feedback.
Teams need access to the data to see what is happening across their team and other teams, to see dependencies. This visibility also provides an understanding of how the work of one team impacts the work of another, improving collaboration between teams. As the information is shared with everyone, when things get challenging for a certain team or individual, bottlenecks can be identified, communicated, and addressed, which significantly decreases organizational friction.
Teams downstream can also prepare as progress information of a specific feature of a given product is shared. If, for example, a feature that a certain team is working on is 70-80%completed, the team in charge of the next development stage can be ready for the feature to hit their team. The same goes for marketing managers who can get ready to create assets to promote the new feature to customers and prospects. In such a configuration, all business functions are working together to drive features and products to their customers.
SDM acts as a software delivery visibility and management layer that sits on top of the toolchain, bringing together all the information from scattered sources into a single source of truth, so that cross-functional teams are on the same page.
The True Human Side of SDM
Software development goes beyond writing, testing, and implementing code; it’s mostly about working with people. Due to concerns about scaling, security, critical deadlines, and demands for feature integrations, software development is more team-based than ever before. For this reason, tools that improve collaboration are becoming increasingly important, even for individual contributors.
Project management solutions need to be coupled with strong communication and collaboration solutions. Task attribution and deadlines need to be crystal-clear. Open communication channels allow information to reach the appropriate people, aligning the software development and operations teams with marketing, customer success, and other business-critical departments.
Team collaboration is essential in software development-related projects, as it helps reduce misunderstandings which can blockwork, and therefore allows for a feature or product to be released on time. For this reason, throughout the project, it’s essential for all stakeholders to be aligned, to ensure they share common goals and are fully aware of the project requirements.
SDM is all about orchestration: software delivery orchestration through unified connected processes that enable better human collaboration through well-structured communication channels.
Achieving these types and levels of orchestration brings enterprises to a place where all its functions and teams collaborate and are focused on delivering the same value.
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